It’s expected that no shows and cancellations happen in the sales industry. You can, however, improve your show rate and have a game plan in place when the customer is not showing up for the appointment. The answer is good training and a strong, measurable phone process.
Reasons For No Shows
Why is it that the customer doesn’t show up?
- They forgot.
- Something legitimate came up and there was a scheduling conflict.
- They didn’t think the appointment was important enough to keep, or worse, they bought from someone else.
The first one is easy enough to overcome. Reschedule the appointment and firm it up in the customer's mind.
The second happens and that's life. Reschedule it and again, confirm it before the customer is due to come in.
Avoid the third by setting a FIRM appointment that the customer is more likely to keep at your dealership.
Minimize The No Show By Setting A Firm Appointment
Weak or soft appointments just don't do well. In order for your customer to show, the set must be strong and contain:
- A specific day and time
- A specific goal (test drive, financing, trade-in appraisal)
- A verbal and mental commitment by the customer
"Today, before noon," is not specific enough, and neither is, "Saturday afternoon, sometime."
Get a verbal and mental commitment from the customer, and in order to do that you have to complete a strong recap after you both have agreed on a specific day, time and goal. This takes discipline and training but can become second nature with proper training.
Remember: the recap is what is going to drive the mental commitment by the prospect.
Remember: always confirm the appointment, telling the customer just how ready you will be to wow them at the dealership.
A No Show Always Gets A Reschedule Call
You’ve done the right steps but there’s still a no show. Call back no more than fifteen minutes after appointment time. In this time frame it’s very natural to ask, “I see you’re running late for your appointment. If you need to reschedule, let’s do that now.” Don’t wait to call later because that has you in a weaker, less credible position.
If you’re reaching voice mail and not getting a response, have a manager leave a message. Oftentimes a customer will respond better to that approach, if the manager is able to leave a more enticing message, “...We can definitely get you the best deal” type.
The process for setting appointments, following up and handling no shows can be measured by mystery shopping your dealership to get an accurate reading on where you stand. It’s not expensive but can show you just how firm your appointments stand, and how the staff handles confirmations, follow ups, and now shows. Then you can begin the training process to have rock stars on the phone.
If you need help with your phone process and training, give us a shout. That’s what we do.